Mike Farmer, a long-time employee at Robert Mondavi and Opus One Winery, has announced that he is launching Euclid Wines with his son, Lucas Farmer. He recently retired after 35 years with the company to focus on Euclid.

Farmer started working at Robert Mondavi in 1979 as a cellar worker. When the Opus One Winery was built he worked at that location for 21 years as cellarmaster and assistant winemaker.

The name, Euclid, is Farmer’s middle name and the name of his grandfather. Euclid Farmer was known for his passion, hard work and integrity, qualities Mike and Lucas wanted represented in their new venture. Euclid Wines will be spearheaded by the father and son team, and made in Napa. They released a small, initial offering of the 2009 vintage to friends and family last year, which quickly sold out. This year, the team decided to expand and is offering a 2010 cabernet sauvignon and 2010 syrah.

“I have decided to take what I have learned and focus on creating wines that are representative of the terrior,” Farmer said. “Our goal is to create wines that are elegant and long-lasting, but also delicious upon release.”

Tim Mondavi, an initial co-winemaker for Opus One, said, “I have always valued Mike’s dedication, professionalism and commitment to every aspect of the winemaking process. His logistical capabilities are excellent, but it is his winemaking skill and artistry that allows him to achieve the highest level of quality. I look forward to seeing he and his son’s Euclid project flourish for many years to come.”

The 2010 cabernet sauvignon comes from the Clark Claudon vineyard on Howell Mountain. The Farmers chose this fruit for the concentration and bright acidity this appellation provides. The syrah features fruit from the Sierra Foothills appellation. “It’s a “cab-drinkers” syrah, explained Lucas Farmer. “Our goal is to make something we’d like to drink.”

Both wines are made in small quantities of fewer than 250 cases each, and will be sold direct from their website EuclidWines.com or by calling the winery at 707- 681-9463. The 2010 Euclid Cabernet Sauvignon is $85 and the 2010 Euclid Syrah is $40 retail.